Scrapping 4CC and Creating Two Seperate Events?
There has been some discussion about this in another thread and I wanted to propse my idea and get some feedback, so I created a new thread.
What do you think of my idea of scraping Four Contintents and creating a North American Championship and a Pacific Championship? Travel and dates are big issues in Four Contintents and they are the primary reason why it is still regarded as a useless competition. It is never going to be on par with Europeans. A North American Championship would create a great rivalry as would a Pacific Championship. It would also creat two sources of revenue instead of one My reasoning for this is as follows (taken from another post of mine):
When you look at Four Continents now the medal hunt is sometimes only between two or three counties. Last year, the top four pairs were either Canadian or Chinese then the next three places were all American. The top 6 dance teams were all American or Canadian. The top 8 men were all Canadian, American, or Japanese. There really isn't that much of an international aspect when you look at it that way, I don't think. Simply put Europeans has many more countries competing than at Four Continents.
With the travel requirements, the dates of 4CC usually don't work for the skaters either. Canadian and US Nationals aren't going to change their dates. There's no way that US Nationals will be bumped up because of football playoffs. Canadian Nationals won't be pumped up either because of the World Juniors. Take in other factors such as the holiday season, and it just won't work.
Four Contintents is going to keep being regarded as a useless competition until some changes are made to the competition set-up, in my view. I think it would be a big draw if you pit the Americans/Canadians against each other - look at the rivalry that exists in hockey between the two countries (especially in Juniors). China/Japan/Korea would also create a big draw too I think.This would create twice the revenue for the ISU
What do you all think of my idea?
I agree that 4CC is not only useless - but even annoying to some of the skaters - particularly in an Olympic season.
Originally Posted by i love to skate
To be honest, I think there are already enough competitions.
Another possibilty - why not cancel 4CC in Olympic years due to all of the travel/scheduling problems. It is not like 4CC has any rich tradition to carry on.
1. Two sources of revenue
2. The rivalry you suggest. While it won't come anywhere close to hockey rivalries (Canada's too much of a hockey nation for that to happen), it does provide a narrative to the athletic dynamics, something I think is helpful in getting fans (see Belbin/Agosto before Turin and the "will she be able to compete"; the Wier vs Lysacek drama, especially at 2008 Nationals, Asada vs Kim). I think seeing that this year within Canada has helped the sport for us.
3. The revenue stream itself will be easier to reach because showing events live (a plus) will be more feasible AND due to the nature of television these days, it could find a home.
1. N. American championships will realistically be only two countries. Asian will be two countries, with a third and fourth hopefully sneaking in (S. Korea post-Yu Na; Kazakhstan with Denis Ten).
2. Where would the judges come from? Something easily solved, but still needs to be discussed.
3. Canada and the USA have a breadth of talent in most discplines (lets just ignore Canada's ladies for a second, shall we?) to make it work, but splitting up the competition means less athletes in general, less athletes at a higher level, which means the competition is less exciting. It could easily turn into a glorified Grand Prix event. If we increase the number of athletes that could compete from any given country (which would be necessary for it to be more than a GP event - otherwise you get six skaters from Canada and the USA in each discpline, a couple from Mexico/Puerto Rico/Brazil - if you wanna include South America). And even then, only Canada and the USA could realistically send more than three skaters.
I like the idea of scrapping 4CC and Euros in an Olympic year. Would put more pressure on the Grand Prix events, though.
Off the ice
There actually used to be a NA championship, every other year, until the Canadian Fed put an end to it in the early 1970s, replaced soon after by Skate Canada.
I think it makes sense geographically but not so much in terms of the size of thefield, especially if you want it to be equivalent to Euros. Who would take part in the NA event? Canada, the US, maybe Mexico and Puerto Rico? You'd have to either allow at least 4 or five entries from each country per discipline or wind up with a GPF sized field. For Asian and Pacific countries, I guess it would make more sense in terms of the number of ISU members (China and Japan but also the Koreas, Kazakhstan, Australia, NZ, Chinese Taipei etc.) but the pairs event would be completely dominated by China and the dance event would be of pretty low standard for the foreseeable future.
I just noticed that some of these points were also noted by Imaginarypogue, whose post lays out the pros and cons pretty well.
I don't think Euros/4CC should be scrapped in an Olympic year, but I would favor moving the schedule up more than was done this season, with a corresponding shift in US/Canadian qualifying events and the GP events. Start them in early October, and then I can go to TEB again . Travel wouldn't be as big an issue if it's not as close to the Olympics; after all, North American and European skaters regularly travel to East Asian countries for GP events and vice versa.
ETA: I see you have a new avatar - it's nice!
Last edited by Buttercup; 01-09-2010 at 02:44 PM.
Last edited by MagicFairy; 01-10-2010 at 12:43 PM.
I really do not see much point to the continuation of the Four Continents event, OR with creating a new pair of competitions to take its place.
Europeans developed naturally (although it is not exactly clear, back in the 1930s, what the difference was between the European Championship and the World Championship.) But Four Continents was always an artificially contrived event. I can't see anyone clamoring for bragging rights along the lines, "I'm the greatest figure skater outside of Europe and I demand a competition (no Europeans allowed) so I can prove it!"
I think the ISU's best bet would be to continue to promote the Grand Prix series as an appetizer, then all the national championships (soup and salad), then Worlds (the main course). The World Team Trophy is cool, too (dessert), especially now that the post-season cheesefests have disappeared (in the U.S. at least.)
Last edited by Mathman; 01-09-2010 at 03:08 PM.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
yeah, let's just scrap it all together. Europe has Europeans because most of the countries (minus russia) have just one or two high-level skaters so their nationals don't mean much. Japan, Canada, The United States all have reasonably deep fields and nationals is a pretty big deal. 4CC is annoying in a regular year and downright exhausting in an olympic year.
Originally Posted by janetfan
Do you believe the World Team trophy is any more organic than Four Continents, though?
^ No, but I don't think it is billed as anything other than an end-of-the-season cast party.
On the other hand, if Cinquanta succeeds in getting some kind of team event into future Olympics (as in the gymnastics model), maybe team events will start to make more sense.
Thanks for your comments everyone!
I think having fewer entries would make the event more exciting actually. The most excitment comes from the final 6 skaters in any competition. Having more athlete/teams doesn't always make an event better, I don't think. Using another hockey example, at this years World Juniors Canada's first game was against Latvia - and Canada beat them 16 to 0. It was a very bad game to watch and everyone starts to feel sorry for the Latvian boys. They didn't get a single win in the competition and I can't imagine that they had much fun. People want to reduce the number of teams in this tournment for this reason as well.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
When you look at the Men's competition from last year's 4CC for example, it was the top 7 men and then a big gap (20 points) to the 8th place man. The men who placed 12th - 24th did not even break the 100 point barrier in the freeskate (and some including the short program).
I don't think it would have to be comparable to Euros (because it won't be). Mexico could be included as well. It is unlikely that Speedy would scrap 4CC without another competition to take its place because of $. With two competitions, he generates twice the revenue and gets some strong rivalries with skaters that aren't as jet lagged.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
The big problem with this though is that Canadian/US Nationals will not be moved up. Hockey/football playoffs/holiday season - there's just too many distractions and the events would make much less money.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Thanks! I like it too - go Taka
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Last edited by i love to skate; 01-09-2010 at 04:25 PM.
I doubt very much that the ISU would support the creation of still another ISU Championship event, as it would mean additional expenses. You can bet that even if the ISU allowed the split, it would mean vastly reduced purses. As of now, 4CC gold medal winners receive less money than Euros gold medal winners.
4CC can't be scrapped without scrapping Europeans, because ISU ranking points can't be awarded for Euros if non-Europeans don't have the opportunity to earn the same ranking points. So forget about ending 4CC.
^ Well, they could scrap Four Cintinents and just not give rating points for Europeans.
Yeah! Lets get this party started.
Personally prestige is just hoopla to me; this past season the world champion and silver medalist both competed at 4CC which was a great confidence booster for most skaters; Daisuke only skated two clean programs at 4CC in 2008 and a stepping stone for Buttle to his world's gold. So I would say 4CC is equal to to Europeans by level of competition alone. Personally i wish they would open up 4CC and Europeans to everybody; since not everyone peak the same time it would be nice to give skaters more chances to claim number one even if it only last for a month; Then when a skater went undefeated in a season it would really mean something.
I don't know who would have an objection to the very existence of Four Continents.
For the individual skaters who have to compete at nationals shortly before and Olympics (or Jr. Worlds in some cases) shortly after and/or for whom it's necessary to travel halfway across the world, they always have the option of not going.
For skaters who don't have the option of going to Olympics because they personally or their federation didn't earn an Olympic spot, it's a nice opportunity.
For the federations, it's also a nice opportunity that they can take advantage of as fits their needs. If any of their top skaters don't want to go but they have enough other world-class skaters, they can send their second string. For smaller countries, if it's too far away and too expensive to justify sending the best skaters they do have they can choose not to participate that year. Another year, the location, the federation budget, and the quality of their skaters available might make it more attractive to send a team.
The only reason I can imagine it being scrapped would be if it loses significant amounts of money for the ISU. Replacing it with two separate smaller competitions would probably cost more and be less attractive to potential sponsors, so I don't see that happening.
I wonder what the balance sheets look like. In years where the event does not have any big stars, does it lose money? Is it difficult for the ISU to find a federation that is willing to host it? Mr. Cinquanta is certainly making a fuss over Yu-na Kim not participating this year.
Originally Posted by gkelly
When the USFSA was having trouble obtaining satisfactory (to the ISU) television coverage for Skate America, Cinquanta threatened to withhold ISU financial supprt as a "punishment."
I think an argument for scrapping Four Continents might be based on a business strategy of concentrating your resources on your strongest events. (On the other hand, it was pretty cool when Katy Taylor won 4C's a few years back. )
Last edited by Mathman; 01-09-2010 at 09:58 PM.